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The White House had no immediate comment.

In addition, Wheeler also filed a lawsuit against Fox for discrimination due to his African-American race.

On Tuesday, paid Fox News commentator and former detective Rod Wheeler filed a defamation lawsuit obtained by PEOPLE against the network and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, claiming that President Donald Trump pressured the cable channel to release a since-retracted piece linking Rich's death to the 2016 WikiLeaks dump of DNC officials' emails in order to distract from reports of collusion with Russian Federation.

Ed Butowsky, a Republican donor and Fox News commentator accused in a new lawsuit of pushing a conspiracy theory about a murdered DNC staffer at Fox News, on Tuesday night told CNN that the lawsuit is "full of nonsense". In reality, the young man was gunned down in Washington D.C.in July of past year, and his murder is still being investigated.

The latest? Former Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta who wasted absolutely no time in simply calling Fox News "despicable" for peddling this story.

Private investigator Rod Wheeler, who Fox News hired to investigate the story, filed the lawsuit on August 1. However, in a little-noticed statement on May 22 from Wheeler published on FetchYourNews, the former D.C. detective said, "I am of the personal opinion that the information/article reported by FoxNews Channel last Tuesday was essentially correct and worthy of further investigation".

Bauman said the conspiracy theory is making it hard for the Metropolitan Police Department to investigate the death of Rich.

Now Wheeler is coming forward to clear his name.

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The thrust of Wheeler's lawsuit rests on the idea that Fox News falsely said that he believed there was a connection between murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich and WikiLeaks. "Mr. Wheeler was subsequently forced to correct the false record and, as a result, lost all credibility in the eyes of the public".

Wheeler's suit claims his part in the erroneous story damaged his reputation.

To bolster that claim, the lawsuit alleges that the article included "fabricated" quotes from Wheeler that he never said.

A chronicling of the events, as detailed in the lawsuit, begins with a text message from Butowsky, a Trump supporter, to Wheeler two days prior to the Fox story's publication: "Not to add any more pressure but the president just read the article". He wants the article out immediately Its now all up to you. It's now all up to you. "But don't feel the pressure".

Fox News said in a statement: "The accusation that FoxNews.com published Malia Zimmerman's story to help detract from coverage of the Russian Federation collusion issue is completely erroneous".

White House spokeperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders, while addressing a press briefing on Tuesday, said, "The President had no knowledge of the story and it's completely untrue that he and the White House were involved".

Butowsky also denied the allegations, calling the lawsuit "bullshit". He said if I wanted to, he could put me in touch with the white house general counsel. "We teased all the time". There was no immediate response from Fox or the White House.


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